Abu Dhabi Utilities & Population Information
Tap water is entirely harmless to drink in Abu Dhabi, but if you prefer the taste of bottled water, locally bottled mineral water is instantly available in supermarkets and grocery stores in all places.
The electricity supply is 220/240 volts and 50 cycles. 13 amp square pin plugs are utilized for house-hold appliances.
The weekend comprises Friday and Saturday for government offices and most private organizations. You will find, however, certain offices that stay open on Saturdays and operate half-day (until 1pm or 2pm) on Thursdays.
It is strongly suggested to not ever photograph women in general and particularly national women, without their permission. It is always courteous to ask before photographing people. There are few other restrictions on photography in the Emirate – only military, government and airport installations are prohibited from being photographed.
Population in the Abu Dhabi emirate, inclusive of Al Ain, the Western region and the Islands, stood at 1,463,491 as of end 2006, containing one third of UAE’s total population. Population grew by a compounded average of 4.57% yearly between 2001 and 2006, and a similar growth is anticipated until 2010, when the emirate’s population is forecasted to reach over 1.75 million.
Presently urban residents comprise 68.5% of Abu Dhabi’s total population, and annual growth in the number of urban dwellers from 2001 and 2006 – at 4.93% - has been slightly more than the emirate’s average.
As well as the locals, the population figures include many expatriate residents that live and work in the Emirate. Across the UAE, Emirati nationals comprise roughly 20% of total population, while expatriate workers’ nationalities include Asians, Africans, Europeans together with North and Latin Americans.
Men outnumber women with a ratio of 2.03 men for every woman, which happens to be slightly lower than the national average.
Cost of living
The cost of living in Abu Dhabi is moderate and, although it has increased in light of the strong economic growth and influx of expatriate residents, it still stays affordable, with the Mercer 2009 Cost of Living survey placing Abu Dhabi 26th in cost of living. In the survey, Abu Dhabi is more affordable than cities such as Los Angeles, Dublin, Rome and Guangzhou.
For example, Abu Dhabi restaurants offer an endless choice of menus, ranging from fast food and casual dining to elegant five-star gourmet French cuisine. A Big Mac meal costs about AED 15, while an English afternoon tea in a five-star hotel would cost approximately AED 50. Dining in popular Indian, Asian or Arabic restaurants could cost anything between AED 40 and AED 80 per person, whilst a full-course meal in a high-end restaurant would cost no less than AED 150 per person, aside from beverages and service charges.
Apartment rents, a major part of Abu Dhabi’s cost of living, moderated during the recent global economic slowdown. At the time of the third quarter of 2009, average one-bedroom rates were AED 104,000, two-bedrooms were AED 137,000 and three bedrooms were AED 173,000.
Three-bedroom villas were in the range of AED 205,000-365,000.